I've wanted to do this sort of post for a little while for so many reasons. Because when it comes to the topic of having children, there is a lot of advice out there about 'what should be', 'what needs to be' and often forgotten in the process is the story of 'what actually is'. This week, I am so incredibly honoured to be sharing a few of those stories with you here :
Claire : I presumed. My approach to life is, I think , a vague, optimistic, hazy assumption that all will be well. Those who know me know that I am not a planner. And as such, I presumed.
My early thirties were only vaguely niggled by the thought of children – if I meet someone now, and date them for a year or two, then I will be x age when I have children. Again, the presumption that it would happen.
I dated- interesting and wildly unsuitable, loved but not the right time and he who I wished would love me. And so, I am 40 and without children.
And I feel... fine…terrified….optimistic….resigned. Maybe I am in some kind of wild denial – that my ovaries are forever flourishing, rather than in their current antiquated state, that I will meet someone with whom I would like to start a family, that, indeed, I would be any kind of decent mother, that I would be okay without children, or indeed with.
The sight of a newborn always evokes complex emotions in me: envy, desire, hurt, happiness, a feeling of "not fair”. Yes, I would love a child, but for me, it has to be right – right for me and the child. I have a job I love and that I feel is very important to me. I work long and irregular hours. I do not have a partner. I would rather my child have 2 parents. These are important, although not immutable facts to me. And as such, at present, I feel it is not the ‘right time’ for me to have a child.
I have a very lovely life. And I envisage that continuing. Having a child would be wonderful- but it may not happen for me and therefore I will not allow, and cannot allow, that to dictate my life. There are so many wonderful, wonderful things in life and in my life in particular, that to become fixated on one aspect is to disrespect others and the opportunities inherent therein. And so I will continue with my hazy optimism and enjoyment of what I do have.
How do other people feel about it? A degree of pity maybe, a curiosity – a wondering of why? A reluctance to ask. Am I an anomaly? Maybe, but I rather think not.
...Thank you wise, witty, wonderful Claire for allowing me to share your words here.
ps. This series is for you mama-to-be, mama-in-wait, not even thinking about it or independent woman- wherever you may be on your journey, whatever it is that you are facing, you are not alone. Sending you an enormous amount of love xo